Academy trusts and schools of public bodies who are bound by the obligations of the Equality Act 2010. As public bodies, they also have to be mindful of requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).
The Equality Act and PSED have more myths around them any legislation apart from GDPR and Health and Safety!. Often people think they have rights that don't exist, the principles of the act are profoundly misunderstood and threats of legal challenge often raised. I many cases this is true for school staff, parents and pupils alike.
Misconceptions among staff, parents and pupils can lead to conflict, complaints and even claims in the tribunal or courts. Many people become nervous when the equality act principles or disability discrimination is mentioned. There is often a sense of being fronted that such criticisms or queries are raised at all. It is common for a defensive approach to be taken, and in many instances, it only makes matters worse.
Understanding what the Equality Act and PSED means in schools not only helps to devise planning to meet obligations, it also means that challenges, complaints and claims are easier to resist. Often Equality Act and discrimination issues are linked to SEN, potential complaints and subject access requests.
Having a proactive rather than reactive approach. Being clear about what your obligations are, and what they are not, can make dealing with such issues far more straightforward for the school as well as a parent or pupil who is involved.
Good, clear training for staff, trustees and governors can make a real difference. Training that is school focused, pragmatic and based on real-life situations can clear the fog around expectations and requirements. In some instances, help to deal with potential complaints, claims and situations that arise can be a real benefit.
The SLS team provide training as well as support for individual situations. To contact us, give us a call or click the link